emergence \ a tribute

Some people come into our lives and leave footprints on our hearts.
Others come into our lives and make us want to leave footprints on their faces.

Ten more weeks to Christmas, they told me. Yet today already felt like it.
The school gave us apples (fruit of knowledge, they say); my friends showered me with tons and tons of chocolate candies and good ol’ treats. Like a gift-exchange affair.

After 2 years of being in this school, we’re finally declared as ‘graduands’.

They say schooling is part of our journey to acquire more knowledge and just so you know, I used to just see schooling as solely studying – not until I actually met and talked to people. Becoming this junior college student changed my worldview of schooling. And now by talk, I mean, in more intellectual terms. No more of being your average fangirl of K-Pop stars. No more of playing the game of hide & seek just a few weeks before your major exams. Sounds rather cruel because, undeniably, these 2 years made me dawn upon the fact that, “Fuck, mum, I wanna watch Tom & Jerry again so damn bad.” You wish you’d have less tests to study for. You wish you could quit school and maybe book a plane ticket to New Zealand to be a farmer.

School life definitely induced suicidal thoughts, even in an individual like me who’s always bursting with optimism – but along the way, human existence was termed the panacea to anxiety.

I met a tremendous number of people – wonderful, unique, eccentric, weird, pretty, pretty on the outside, pretty on the inside and outside, real, fake – you name it, I’ve seen it.

1) Let’s start with the bad and the ugly.
These 2 years have taught me that there will be a tendency to be superficial and judgmental. You may actually think that this person looks ‘nice’, but you can’t define what’s the real nice. People are inevitably going to alter your thoughts and share strange and weird findings of others with you, and so your initial (good) impressions of another will sway. There will be plenty of attractive people around you and you may grow to focus a lot on your looks too.
It’s been a ride, especially this year, and I’ve been deemed, negatively, as uncouth (I admit), profane (vulgar, you mean – because I’m fluent in three languages – English, sarcasm, and profanity), hysterical (indeed), shallow (what the fuck, look who’s talking), and I’m probably a lot more as some may term me in private. What do they call it – haters? (not amused by using this term, because my last name is not Bieber). Goodness gracious, maybe it’s just my default face that irks many.
I learnt that looks could fool. I met people who look pretty “fuck-it-all” on the outside but actually are fickle-minded weaklings (friends, I know I may sound like I’m talking about myself but, okay…). I met people who take others for a joyride. I met people who don’t know what differences lie between “friends” and “subjects of affection”. I met people who come from healthy, well-off families, but are just somehow damaged inside. I met good-looking people, but they do things that make you cynical and wary of other good-looking people as well. I met people who put on smiles for you but actually hold this non-existent 2.36-inch Rocket Launcher Bazooka gun behind their backs, waiting to set you up in flames.

2) And because of such encounters with the incredulous and the bizarre (not exaggerating), I emerged stronger by creating so many juxtapositions – of people who actually are true and of whom I should stop chasing after.
There weren’t many people I was chasing after actually, but just one or two whom I decided to cut. And as for the rest of my journey in Anderson, of course, 90% of friends and teachers are gregarious, wonderful human beings.
They taught me that I actually have the ability to converse in almost-adult-like tone to certain people – of religion, of love, of anything under the sun.
They taught me that growing up into young adults of the 21st century can still be in a childlike fashion – by eating ice cream after school, by playing a game of frisbee together, by watching a good ol’ ‘Saw’ movie in bed, by giving these weird erotic ticklish moments for each other (do not judge). We dreamt.
They taught me that vastly different people think in vastly different manners, but still we can be one.
They taught me that I shall never cry silently alone at night because there’s always the phone.
They taught me how I should open up to new possibilities.
They taught me how I should not fall in love too easily, or fall in love too fast.
They taught me not to wait on people who would not even cross a puddle for me.
And of course they showed me who’s really going to be there, and who’s not.
Because they stayed.

One of my good friends (hey there, Yanan!) actually made me a really beautiful card today (among the avalanche of lovely treats and parting gifts received), and being the sweet her, she left me with a sweet quote from an Australian comedic film named Mary & Max:

The reason I forgive you is because you are not perfect. You are imperfect. And so am I. All humans are imperfect. Even the man outside my apartment who litters. When I was young, I wanted to be anybody but myself. Dr. Bernard Hasselhoff said if I was on a desert island, then I would have to get used to my own company. Just me and the coconuts. He said I would have to accept myself: my warts and all. And that we don’t get to choose our warts. They are a part of us and we have to live with them. We can however, choose our friends. And I am glad I have chosen you. Dr. Bernard Hasselhoff also said that everyone’s lives are like a very long sidewalk. Some are well paved. Others, like mine, have cracks, banana skins and cigarette butts. Your sidewalk is like mine, but probably not as many cracks. Hopefully, one day our sidewalks will meet and we can share a can of condensed milk. You are my best friend. You are my only friend.

We can choose to limit the amount of bullshit our lives can contain. People are going to stir up a whirlwind and create misery because they’re fucking voyeurs and find joy in seeing you in pain.
You wish to castrate their non-existent genitals sometimes.

If people are going to take you for granted, erase them.
And then love, wholeheartedly, the people who’s always been rooting for you.

2 years in this school and the above is a summation of what I’ve seen and felt and emerged to believe firmly in. I became a happier person, though I build walls higher and higher, like what all of them told me – but there’s this formidable strength within myself I know I can build upon – it’s like telling me to transform from May Welland to become an Ellen Olenska. And I’ve been taught just that.

People who kept me strong and made this ride incredibly worthwhile – I can’t say just “I love you”, insert the word “fucking” appropriately into one of the spaces – that makes more sense now that my point is emphasised.


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